Positive Topline Results for Cannabinoid-Based Med for Nerve Pain

Megan Brooks

May 31, 2023

An experimental, proprietary cannabinoid-based drug in development for diabetic neuropathy outperformed pregabalin (Lyrica) in a clinical trial, achieving significant reduction in pain severity, new topline results released by Zelira Therapeutics suggest.

"The implications of these results for patients are incredibly promising," principal investigator Bryan Doner, DO, medical director of HealthyWays Integrated Wellness Solutions, Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, said in a news release.

"Through this rigorously designed study, we have demonstrated that ZLT-L-007 is a safe, effective, and well-tolerated alternative for patients who would typically seek a Lyrica-level of pain relief," he added.

The observational, nonblinded trial tested the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of ZLT-L-007 against pregabalin in 60 adults with diabetic nerve pain.

The study had three groups with 20 patients each (pregabalin alone, pregabalin plus ZLT-L-007, and ZLT-L-007 alone).

Topline results show the study met its primary endpoint for change in daily pain severity as measured by the percent change from baseline at 30, 60, and 90 days on the Numerical Rating Scale.

For the pregabalin only group, there was a reduction in symptom severity at all follow-up points, ranging from 20% to 35% (median percent change from baseline), the company said.

For the ZLT-L-007 only group, there was about a 33% reduction in symptom severity at 30 days, and 71% and 78% reduction, respectively, at 60 and 90 days, suggesting a larger improvement in symptom severity than with pregabalin alone, the company said.

For the pregabalin plus ZLT-L-007 group, there was a moderate 20% reduction in symptom severity at 30 days, but a larger reduction at 60 and 90 days (50% and 72%, respectively), which indicates substantially greater improvement in symptom severity than with pregabalin alone, the company said.

The study also met secondary endpoints, including significant decreases in daily pain severity as measured by the Visual Analog Scale and measurable changes in the short-form McGill Pain Questionnaire and Neuropathic Pain Symptom Inventory.

Doner noted that the topline data showed "no serious adverse events, and participants' blood pressure and other safety vitals remained unaffected throughout. This confirms that ZLT-L-007 is a well-tolerated product that delivers statistically significant pain relief, surpassing the levels achieved by Lyrica."

The company plans to report additional insights from the full study, as they become available, during fiscal year 2023-2024.

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